Sunday, April 24, 2011

April 11 Pants

The April pants are nearly complete. All that remains are waistband and hem. I may do a waistband technique that I haven't used in a while, something I learned from a Nancy Zieman program many years ago. I like my zipper. You can see that I used an almost flesh colored chiffon to do the Hong Kong seam treatment. I ran a bias strip across the bottom of the zipper tape and around to the back of the fly extensions and felled it down. This pic was taken before the pants went together. 

If you haven't YOU MUST learn the Sandra Betzina method of putting in a fly zipper. You can see the results, inside and out, here. It is easy, fast, and worth checking out. It is NOT complicated and probably one of the best techniques I have learned during my sewing career. I like to do a tiny zigzag at the beginning of my topstitching at the bottom of the fly, like you see on jeans.  Does anyone else do this? I think it looks nice on all fly applications and certainly makes for a sturdier zipper. As a child with 6 brothers I was often fixing zippers that came unstitched. I wish I knew this little zigzag trick  back then.This fly looks a bit strange due to the camera angle. It is precisely 1 1/4 inch wide but looks like the bottom of the fly is bigger, not. Just another one of those quirky camera thingies.

Once I finished with the fly and all the Hong Kong seams I basted the pants together for a trial fit.  Never trust the perfect pattern as every fabric drapes differently. (This is the same pattern that I thought looked horrible on me in last months's pants.) It didn't look like I had to change a thing. So then I restitched them permanently. Now to press the seams open. This wool/lycra blend is a bit weird to iron. My steam is shot on my iron, time for a new one, and I am using a fine mist in a spray bottle. Wherever the wool gets damp it bubbles up once the heat hits it, then after a few minutes its flat again, strange!   Rather than fight with it I just decided to use a dry iron for most ironing and its working well. I did want some moisture to press the seams open and did an old tailors technique. A thin line of water is brushed in the well of the seam and it is then pressed. This worked beautifully with these pants. You can see in the pic I used a clean stencil brush to apply the water along the seam. worked like a charm. You can't see it, but a seam roll is underneath. This is critical to prevent show thru of the pressed seams. That's where we are now and hopefully time will allow me to finish tomorrow. 

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday, whatever your traditions, and enjoyed the day you as you hoped it would be. We had a wonderful dinner on this end and now are "sitting it off." Tomorrow's walk is really needed....Bunny


  1. Nice fly! Yes, I'm a BIG fan of the Betzina fly method, with it being so simple with great results!

  2. I also use the brush water in the seam well technique with a seam stick. I love how nicely my seams lie when I press them this way. I have never done the tiny zigzag. I'm too afraid I will ruin my fabric if I have to pick it out and restitch. I am never happy with my fly stitching. Do you lengthen your stitch? Or switch thread? Yours looks so nice.

  3. Looking great so far!

  4. Thank you for the hint on the fly technique, it looks like something I will want to do from now on. I love the chiffon binding, it looks beautiful.


  5. I think I'm going to be doing the hong kong finish on my zipper flys from now on. I cut my pants with the serger on my black jeans and had to do a repair. It's not very noticeable, but still. The hong kong finish would eliminate the risk. I LoVE the SB method too. I wouldn't do it any other way.

  6. Yep, wool twill and gabardine don't love to be pressed like other wools. I use the same technique you do and sometimes I use my wool dauber, but the fine line of water works the best for difficult woolens. Beautiful inside of your zipper. My grandmother used to tell me that the insides should be a beautifully finished as the outsides.


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